David Hazeltine

Alice in Wonderland

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David Hazeltine evidently salutes pianist Bill Evans on this Venus CD, as eight of the nine songs were recorded by Evans for Riverside and the late pianist's influence is definitely a part of Hazeltine's style (though the Japanese liner notes make it difficult to confirm for sure). Accompanied by two sympathetic musicians, bassist George Mraz and drummer Billy Drummond, Hazeltine's interpretations of standards like "Beautiful Love," "Alice in Wonderland" and "When You Wish Upon a Star" are lyrical and to the point. The lively setting of "How Deep Is the Ocean" and loping treatment of "Tenderly" also merit praise. Hazeltine's sole composition is "For Bill," a fluid piece that is also reminiscent of Bill Evans' approach to the piano and writing. Beautifully recorded, the only problem with this CD is Jan Saudek's tasteless cover photo.

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